Investigation into Orica’s Kooragang Island chromium leak nears completion

An investigation into the leak of hexavalent chromium at Orica’s Kooragang Island facility is expected to finish this month.

It comes as the explosives manufacturer opened the gates of the facility for the first time since the initial 8 August leak, the Newcastle Herald reports.

However, while 30 people had registered to attend, only two showed up.

Despite this, site manager Stuart Newman said it was an exercise in building trust again.

“I hope as the word gets around that people who are interested in the site come along,” Newman said.

He went on to say that it is part of a long term community engagement plan to ‘ensure transparency’.

It was great transparency and notification the Greens called for in its proposed change to pollution notification requirements, using Orica’s mercury vapour leak at its Botany Bay plant earlier in the week as an example.

According to Orica, the meter recorded levels in excess of the 30 minute average compliance level of 1.8 micrograms/m3, peaking at around 4 micrograms/m3.

The Greens draft amendment would require companies to immediately notify authorities of pollution incidents instead of the existing ‘as soon as practicable’ rule.

The government is expected to release its independent review of the Kooragang Island leak tomorrow.